Working with partners at Public Impact, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools conducted a study to explore the charter school movement in Missouri, after 10 years of charter school operation. The researchers studied data to understand the current status of Missouri charter schools, and the factors that shaped charter school policy in the state.
On February 1, 2011, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), with the support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, released the report, “Delivering on the Promise: How Missouri Can Grow Excellent, Accountable Public Charter Schools,” which issues recommendations to improve practices to close the state’s lowest-performing public charter schools.
Report author Nelson Smith, senior advisor, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, explained that the report equips state legislators with clear goals and benchmarks to consider during the upcoming legislative session. Policymakers can reference the report for an empirical analysis of the charter sector and the potential to better this public-education option.
Key recommendations of the report include:
- Create a new statewide authorizer in Missouri to approve and oversee high-quality public charter schools;
- Prioritize state oversight by clarifying the criteria by which the State Board of Education can hold authorizers accountable for performance;
- Provide adequate resources to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that will support its charter school responsibilities properly;
- Close chronically low-performing charter schools by creating standards of academic performance and taking action against persistently failing schools;
- Equalize resources between charter and other public schools by making charters eligible for all state-funding streams; and,
- Improve the authorizing environment by requiring incumbent authorizers to re-apply for their status.